Football trafficking: a socio-legal study on the trade of African football minors

Nkang, I.-O., 2021. Football trafficking: a socio-legal study on the trade of African football minors. PhD, Nottingham Trent University.

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There is a child trafficking problem in football which exists beneath public awareness. The problem involves African minors being transported to foreign countries by unscrupulous intermediaries who either abandon them to fend for themselves or control their mobility for the explicit purpose of exploitation. Child trafficking in football occurs within a football environment that benefits from the increased commodification of children, but football does not provide the requisite protections to prevent the African minors from being trafficked and exploited within the sport. Though football trafficking is a subset of the wider child trafficking issue, particular consideration must be given to the specificity of sport and the unique incentives which football provides to both the perpetrators and potential victims of the crime.

This research aims to understand the key factors which leads to football trafficking, to evaluate the efficacy of FIFA's anti-trafficking policy responses, and to propose recommendations which improve the performance of FIFA's regulations and offer better safeguards to the African minors. The study uses an interdisciplinary research method, by combining the legal doctrinal and socio-legal approaches to better analyse the core drivers of football trafficking, and to offer solutions which are tailored to the circumstances of the at-risk child players.

Moreover, by examining the problem through the theoretical lens of regulatory theory, the analysis uncovers that there are several social, systemic, and structural factors in and around football's regulatory environment which have undermined the performance of FIFA's anti-trafficking policies. The study concludes that FIFA's regulatory shortfalls can be remedied by adopting procedures aligned with effective regulation, applying a child-centred approach to further anti-trafficking policies, and introducing practices which can tackle some of the fundamental vulnerabilities of the African minors. When combined, these measures could lead to a reduction in the prevalence of football trafficking.

Item Type: Thesis
Creators: Nkang, I.-O.
Date: January 2021
Rights: The copyright in this work is held by the author. You may copy up to 5% of this work for private study, or personal, non-commercial research. Any re-use of the information contained within this document should be fully referenced, quoting the author, title, university, degree level and pagination. Queries or requests for any other use, or if a more substantial copy is required, should be directed to the author.
Divisions: Schools > Nottingham Law School
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 29 Oct 2021 12:22
Last Modified: 29 Oct 2021 12:22

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